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Vikash Sharma

The Cuttack Cyber Police Station has busted a racket involved in preparing and supplying pre-activated SIM cards to fraudsters. Two persons have been arrested in this connection while around 250 pre-activate SIM cards of various service provider companies have been seized from their possession, so far.

Cuttack DCP Prateek Singh on Thursday said that the two accused- Sushant Behera and Sankar Adhikari- are officials of a telecom service provider. Their activities surfaced during the probe into to a cyber-cheating case to the tune of Rs 4 lakh. The accused allegedly used to supply huge quantities of pre-activated SIM cards from Odisha to cyber fraudsters in Jamtara and Deoghar in Jharkhand and other States, police said.

On February 28, one Dr Jayadeb Jena (66) a visiting professor at Ravenshaw University alleged that some miscreants swindled around Rs 4 lakh from his bank account. During probe, it was ascertained that the fraudsters impersonating BSNL officials told the victim that his SIM card would be blocked if he failed to recharge and asked to download two apps- ‘Team Viewer and SMS Forwarding’.

“After the victim installed the two Apps, the fraudsters gained access to his mobile phone and looted the money,” said Singh.

According to Singh, while activating SIM cards of customers, the fraudsters would take their photographs on the pretext that their previous picture was not good. Later, they would use the photographs to activate a different SIM card. “Using such method, they used to activate multiple SIM cards by using the customers’ details without their knowledge,” Singh added.

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